Safety alert 01/2016 - Concrete pumping operations in the construction industry - a risk management approach

The purpose of this alert is to make builders and concrete pump operators aware of the need to manage risks if they operate or contract the operation of a concrete pump on a construction site.

Examples of recent incidents include legs being caught in a concrete pump hopper between the agitator/paddles. 

Contributing factors

  • The main factor causing drivers/operators to be injured appears to be a lack of maintenance of equipment leading to failure of interlocks of the grate over the hopper, a recognised high-wear area.  
  • Design of the hopper makes cleaning from the outside of the hopper with water difficult.
  • Design of the controls between the water and agitator are very close.
  • The micro switch was not designed to fail to safety.
  • Lack of operator training, inadequate instruction and supervision are factors in other incidents.
  • SWMS do not adequately reflect accessing the hopper for clean-out purposes.

Action required

  1. The employer or person in control of the workplace must ensure all vehicle-mounted concrete boom pump operators hold a High Risk Work Licence.
  2. Workers must be trained in using safe work procedures and be adequately supervised.
  3. SWMS to address the danger of entering the hopper, and ways to mitigate the need to enter the hopper.
  4. The employer should:
  • Ensure all drivers/operators are adequately trained.
  • SWMS are conducted and the need to enter the hopper is fully explained and understood; and
  • Ensure the hopper is fitted with a secured hopper grate, or that the hopper grate is interlocked with an emergency stop button.
  1. A risk assessment on all tasks must be done by the employer or person in control of the workplace.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from:

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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